Family Tree ‘packages’

These ‘packages’ are for you if you’d like to learn about your ancestry without doing the work yourself, or if you’d like to present a family tree to a loved one as a gift. The ‘packages’ are presented here as guides to how we might focus the work.  The idea is to give you an idea of the amount of work involved and the likely cost, rather than inflexible packages with a fixed focus and fixed price.  The packages are not cheap, but the cost does reflect the amount of work. This will become clear when you read the illustrative examples from my own family tree, below.

You’ll notice that these packages aim to take you back to ‘around 1800-1837’.  This is because the records that will enable us to get our research back to this point have national coverage, are likely to have survived and are generally available online.  1837 was the year Civil Birth, Marriage and Death certificates were introduced.  Shortly afterwards, in 1841, the modern decennial census commenced in England and Wales.  I will use this information, cross-referencing with other record sets such as religious baptisms, marriages and burials, wills and electoral registers, to collect and reinforce information, working it all into a sound, fully-sourced family tree.  Since ancestors recorded on the 1841 census may have been born in 1800 or even earlier, although the research will not go beyond the census and civil registration certification (unless you want it to), the resulting family tree may well include ancestors born in the early nineteenth or even late eighteenth century.

In view of the online availability of these records I can usually carry out this research regardless of where in England your family was based, and without the need to visit archives, thereby reducing time and cost. (If online-availability of records for one of your areas of interest is limited I will tell you this during our initial consultation.)

Family tree package: direct ancestry for one surname, back to around 1800-1837
The research will include direct ancestors along the selected surname (great grandparent, GG grandparent, GGG grandparent, etc) plus all spouses of each (but not their parentage or ancestry) and all children born to each generation. In-depth research of the children of each marriage who are not direct ancestors will not be included, but baptisms, entries on censuses and any other information while they remain at the family home will be included. In the image below it is the mother’s surname that is to be researched – her father’s paternal line.

To give you an example of what might be included in this package. In my own family tree, to take this line (my mother’s paternal line) back to those living as at 1837/1841, includes four generations: my grandfather and his eight siblings plus my grandmother; my great grandfather and his seven siblings, plus my great grandmother; my GG grandfather and his six siblings, plus my GG grandmother; and my GGG grandfather, who was born in 1787 and died in 1862. His first wife, my 3G grandmother, died shortly before the 1841 census, and my 3G grandfather had a second, rather short-lived marriage, with one more child. That ‘one-surname’ tree, then, includes thirty-one people, eight of them direct descendants.

You can click the image for a better view.

Illustrative chart giving an example of which ancestors might be included in a family tree focusing on one surname only. In this example it is the maternal grandfather's line.

Guide price: £240 – £360, depending on number of generations to get back to 1837. This is based on six to nine hours of research and report writing. The cost of any purchased certificates is extra. (see below: ‘What you’ll get from me’).

Family tree package: one grandparent’s direct lineage, back to around 1800-1837
This research will include direct ancestors (great grandparents, GG grandparents, GGG grandparents, etc) plus spouses and all children born to each generation. In-depth research of the children who are not direct ancestors will not be included, but baptisms, entries on censuses and any other information while they remain at the family home will be included. This differs from the ‘single surname’ option in that your grandparent has two parents, four grandparents, eight great great grandparents, and so on. This option will therefore include more ancestral lines and many more individual people. You can see the difference between these two options by comparing the example chart below (following the paternal grandmother’s line) with the chart above.

Again, using my own tree as an example: If I were doing this for my own paternal grandmother’s ancestry back to those living in 1837/1841, it would include my grandmother and four siblings, my great grandparents plus a second marriage for my great grandfather following the death of his wife, resulting in a complicated living arrangement that included blending the family with the second wife’s niece and nephew. Then there are two sets of GG grandparents, and a total of twelve children, and four sets of GGG grandparents, with a total of thirty-four children. Eight GGGG grandparents, born between 1778 and 1794, also survived until the 1850s/1860s and would also be included. Between them they had thirty-five children, bringing the total of individual people in this part of my own tree to 111 from Leeds, Norwich, London, York, Staffordshire and North Yorkshire. Yours may be larger or smaller, and you could choose to limit the number of generations.

You can click the image for a better view.

Illustrative chart showing which ancestors would be included in a family tree if the ancestral lines of one parent were researched. In this example it is the ancestry of the paternal grandmother that is being researched.

Guide price: £800 – £1,000, depending on number of generations and availability of records for all lines. This is based on about twenty to twenty-five hours of research and report writing. The cost of any purchased certificates is extra. (see below). Unavailability of records resulting in inability to trace any of the lines would reduce the cost.

These are just examples. The point is to give you an idea of what could be done, and the likely hours for different options.

Initial consultation and ongoing communication
There will be an initial free-of-charge consultation of up to one hour. During this time we will discuss precisely what you’d like from the research. I will also tell you what I need from you before work can progress. I will give you an estimate of the likely timescale when work could be completed, followed shortly afterwards by an estimate of cost.

If you decide to go ahead I will prepare a research plan outlining precisely what we have agreed.

During the project you will receive updates from me, along with any queries if for some reason we need to vary the plan.

What I’ll need from you before we start
Obviously, it’s essential to make sure we home in on the right people. To protect the living, certain records in the UK are restricted for 100 years.  The decennial censuses, for example, are released one hundred years after the year in which they were taken, and the General Register Office birth index so far goes up to only 1934.  Some records are available for the intervening period, and civil birth, marriage and death certificates can be purchased.  But essentially, what all this means is that we may have to use your parents and grandparents as a bridge to find our way back to the point at which records become easily available.  The more information we have, the better. We will discuss this further during our initial consultation, but these are the kinds of things we will need:

  • Your parents’ names, with date and place of birth, and the same for your grandparents if you have it.
  • Copies (photos/scans) of any relevant birth, marriage and death certificates you already have.
  • Any information you have about family members – like the name of a great uncle or your grandmother’s cousin – along with known or likely years of birth, death, etc. This can help to home in on the right family, particularly if the surname is not uncommon.
  • Copies of any photos that you consider add something useful. If there is information written or printed on the back I’d like a photo of that too.
  • Any existing family tree a family member might have drawn up.
  • If relevant, a ‘pedigree chart’. You can choose one from FreeFamilyTemplates, download it and fill in as much of it as you can.
  • If possible, I’ll ask you to talk to other family members to get additional information and photos from them.

What you’ll get from me
At the end of the research project you will receive:

  • A full report of all research carried out, including analysis and reasons for my conclusions.
  • This will include names of ancestors, dates of their significant life events, where they lived at various stages of their lives, what they did for a living, any additional spouses and children born to all marriages, and any other information about their lives uncovered during the research.
  • Copies and transcriptions of all records identified and drawn upon in the research. This could include any or all of the following: Civil Birth, Marriage and Death certificates*; Religious Baptism, Marriage and Burial register entries; Municipal Cemetary registers; Census returns, Military Attestation, Service Record or Pension documentation; Newspaper reports; Criminal records; Electoral, Poll Book or Directory entries; Probate documents, including Wills*.
  • Please note that the cost of documents marked with an asterisk* is not included in the Guide Price and will be charged extra (at cost). To keep costs down, where I consider the information recorded on any of these documents is available (or largely available) online at no additional cost, I will discuss this with you, explaining what benefits there might be in incurring the additional costs. We will then proceed accordingly. Any documents purchased and received as hard copies will belong to you and will be posted to you at the end of the research.
  • A family tree chart including everyone identified during the research.
  • Where possible, and if appropriate to your needs, I try to step back and look for the stories: what might have been happening to make this person take this action? What was happening in their world – in their family or locality, in wider society or politics?
  • I will also highlight if there seems to be an interesting ‘story’ attached to one of the characters not covered in the main report, that you might enjoy exploring afterwards.
  • Any further areas for potential research that you might like to explore will also be included.
  • The report will be delivered to you by email.

Click here to read a selection of Testimonials from past clients.
Please contact me if you still have questions and would like to discuss any of this further.

As an Associate of AGRA – the Association of Genealogists and Researchers in Archives, I undertake to operate fully according to the professional standards set down by the AGRA Code of Practice and Ethics.  I also offer clients the peace of mind of the AGRA Complaints Procedure.